GOLD COAST, Aus.—Canada’s Joanna Brown capped off an up and down season with an 18th place finish at the World Triathlon Grand Final in Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday.
The 25 year old from Carp, Ont. fought through strong winds, choppy waters and a flat tire to secure a spot in the top-20 at the final race of the season where she clocked a time of 1:55:03.
“I’m heartbroken and very disappointed, but there was nothing I could do about the flat today, and I did my best to keep myself in it afterwards,” said Brown.
Brown came out of the 1.5-kilometre swim in the Broadwater in the middle of a field of 57 who battled high chop in each of the two laps.
“The swim was super rough and not fun. We got piled up together with the chop and there was no separation during the entire swim so we are all on top of each other.”
The lone Canadian in the women’s elite field was able to bridge her way to the lead group after putting the hammer down on the pedals for the first three of eight laps on the 40-kilometre bike ride, but was dealt an unfortunate blow shortly thereafter.
“About halfway through the sixth lap, my front wheel started to wobble and then it went completely flat. I rode about 500 metres to the wheel stop, and switched my wheel before carrying on,” said a dejected Brown. “I wasn’t able to make up much time to the lead, but I stayed about even with them for the next two laps.”
Brown stayed committed to the end, trying to gain valuable spots throughout the 10 kilometre run around Mitchell Park.
“I think had I been in the lead group off the bike I would have had a much better result in the legs,” she said. “Huge thanks to the support staff at this event. It makes such a difference having a world class team here with us.”
Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle thrilled the hometown crowd by claiming the world title with a time of 1:52:00. Vicky Holland, of Great Britain, wrapped up a stellar 2018 campaign and the overall World Triathlon Series championship title with a silver-medal showing at 1:52:02. American Katie Zaferes grabbed the final spot on the women’s podium at 1:52:33.
Canada’s Brown began the 2018 season in the Gold Coast where she became just the fourth Canadian ever to win a Commonwealth Games medal, claiming the bronze. It has been a mixed bag of bad luck and breakthrough performances for the leader of the Canadian women’s teams since.
“The season has been extremely difficult and very frustrating, but I really believe in what I am doing, in my team and myself,” added Brown. “I have had some unfortunate circumstances in races, but I have been in the lead group in almost every World Triathlon Series this year and I have to be proud of that. I will only be back stronger for the 2019 season.”
Young Cancuks Post a Pair of Eights in Junior Action
Two Canadian 18 year olds, Desirae Ridenour and Pavlos Antoniades, each posted eighth-place finishes in the junor women’s and men’s races on Saturday.
Ridenour, of Cowichan Bay, B.C., posted her third top-10 finish in as many trips to the Junior World Championships. Ridenour, who was a member of Canada’s Commonwealth Games squad this year, clocked in at 1:00:10 in the sprint distance.
Mexico’s Cecillia Sayuri Ramirez Alavez won the race with a time of 59:11. Great Britain’s Erin Wallace won the silver with a time of 59:23, while Kate Waugh, also from Great Britain, finished third at 59:34.
Victoria’s Hannah Henry had a strong outing, finishing 12th (1:00:19). Kira Gupta-Baltazar, of Kleinburg, Ont., was 30th (1:01:57).
Pavlos Antoniades, of Trois-Rivières, Que., was on a mission to improve on his 15th-place showing at last year’s World Juniors and he did just that. The promising Canadian teen also scrapped his way to eighth spot with a time of 53:40.
Hungary’s Csongor Lehmann won the junior men’s crown with a time of 52:49. Paul Georgenthum, of France, was second at 53:12, while Germany’s Philipp Wiewald settled for the bronze medal at 53:14.
Brock Hoel, of Kelowna, B.C., was 19th (54:31). Liam Donnelly (Campbellville, Ont.) placed 28th (55:02).
The World Triathlon Grand Final wraps up on Sunday with the elite men’s race.
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